Last night I met a woman. She asked where I was from and I told her California. “I’m loving my time here in Vermont,” I said.
“You should buy my house,” she said. “You’d love it.” She told me it sat on 40 acres. A studio to rent out that would cover the mortgage. A pond. She tore a strip of paper from her notebook and wrote down the address. “You could have sheep,” she said.
I had fantasies of becoming a weaver once.
She told me the house was on Zillow so I looked at the pictures online. It’s off the market, Zillow says. I think she told me this, but said it was going to go back on. The rooms in the house are painted the colors of the rooms in my house. There’s a bright red table.
I thought I might dream of sheep last night, or speaking French, or standing at the edge of the pond, marveling at how I’d made this new life on the Canadian border surrounded by sheep and sugar bush.
But I dreamed of a bicycle trip and training to ride in it. The training had been going on for months, but I was still learning to repair my bicycle, being drilled on how to take this and that apart and replace it. Parts were laid out on a grimy towel, and the instructor held a shiny metal thing-a-ma-jig in his hand. “This is the piece you want,” he said.” You’d have to pay me big bucks to go on a bike trip. I’d rather just step out in front of the roaring truck than have it hit me from behind. There have been two men in my life in the last decade who were rather taken with me, and these men were serious about biking. That wasn’t the only reason it wouldn’t have worked out, but if I’d made a list of pros and cons, biking would have been written in all caps on the con side. This bike trip in the dream was going to last months. Hundreds of miles. It was a bike trip in which we followed a soccer team, peddling from city to city. Soccer. Sure. I like soccer if I’m in a bar with a soccer fan, or if it’s the Women’s World Cup maybe, or I’m watching some little girl I love.
“I hope this isn’t one of those conversations that changes my destiny,” I told the woman with the house.
“It could be she,” said. There was something about her. Something about the whole idea, something about the dream of the bike race that made me think about how capable we are of changing everything.